Violent game bill dies

Bill that called for a study of violent games killed upon end of 112th Congressional session; West Virginia senator plans to reintroduce measure by end of the month.

West Virginia senator Jay Rockefeller's bill that called for a study into the effects of violent games on children died when the 112th Congressional session ended January 3.

A Rockefeller staffer told Polygon that the senator plans to resubmit the bill--with its language unchanged--to Congress during the current session, likely sometime by the end of the month.

Introduced last month just days after the December 14 schoolhouse shooting in Newtown, Conn., the bill would task the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to study the effects of violent video games and other programs on children.

"Major corporations, including the video game industry, make billions on marketing and selling violent content to children," Rockefeller said at the time. "They have a responsibility to protect our children. If they do not, you can count on the Congress to take a more aggressive role."

The bill would direct the NAS to conduct a "comprehensive study and investigation" of the link between violent games and other violent video programming and harmful effects on children. More specifically, the NAS would be charged with looking into whether or not video games/programming cause children to act aggressively or "otherwise hurt their wellbeing," and if so, determine if that effect is notably distinguishable from other types of media.

Rockefeller at an unrelated hearing.

This study would also look at the "direct and long-lasting impact" of violent content on a child's well-being. If the bill passes, NAS must submit a report on its study within 18 months to Congress as well as the FTC and FCC.

Rockefeller's bill is just one part of the ongoing discussion in Washington about games in the wake of the deadly Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead. Earlier this week, New Jersey governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) said on national television that violent video games must be examined as part of a comprehensive effort to reduce gun violence in the United States.

Additionally, National Rifle Association vice president Wayne LaPierre said at a press conference last month that violent video games like Bulletstorm and Mortal Kombat were partially to blame for the shooting. California senator Leland Yee called this claim "mind-boggling."

What's more, US Vice President Joe Biden will meet with representatives from the video game industry this month to discuss the role of violent games as part of a wider task force looking into the role of violent media in mass shootings.

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Discussion

443 comments
Overeduk8ed
Overeduk8ed

Just wondering- do most of the people here agree with enforcing ESRB ratings with legal backing, like we do with cigarettes and alcohol? Some game retailers take those ratings seriously (or try to) and others don't care. What do you think, Gamespotters?

TAracer
TAracer

Remember after Columbine it was all Marilyn Manson's fault.  Let's ban violent movies, sports, books, tv and music.  We're all too stupid to know how to live correctly.   Please government, help us!!

Jager5
Jager5

So, the bill fails, and he can immediately resubmit it, unchanged, into the current session? Sounds to me it isnt just parenting thats gone downhill. This guy needs a swat in the pants and a stern "no means NO!", and potentially a fine for wasting congress time and taxpayer money. I know congress isnt a court but contempt of court sounds pretty appropriate here, as he got a decision he didnt like and is basically saying "they got it wrong, I'm going to keep pestering them until they give in"

foxy42
foxy42

Funny, I thought it was my responsibility to protect my children, not the game industry's. This shizz gets lamer and lamer every time.

Verhoven
Verhoven

I blame Super Mario Bros for my homicidal tendency to jump and stomp on peoples head to rescue the love of my life in a fictional kingdom............... 

AnHRTBus
AnHRTBus

Question, since violent games arent sold to children (they are sold to irresponsible parents of children, who then give call of duty to their 11 year old) why the hell are we researching this? Videogames dont make me go out and kill people, anymore than 50 shades of gray makes me go out and rape women. Stupid, "knee-jerk" reactions of politicians trying to secure their chair for next year. How about we fine parents caughtgiving tthey're child violent games, starting with the Senate's and house reps children. Just a thought, since I know they wont pass that, they might face some fines....

k0k066
k0k066

I cannot think of any better answer to those foolish and naive enough to belive that violent games are responsible for real violence than the video that is just below the article ...... seriously people what's wrong with you??

abcdefgabcdefgz
abcdefgabcdefgz

guns do not pull their own triggers its stupid to even think banning guns has any point. Weed has been illegal for how long? How many people still do it? I think some people are too dumb to be allowed freedom of speech

abcdefgabcdefgz
abcdefgabcdefgz

dont worry in another year when the same thing happens despite whatever stupid laws they pass, they will just try to pass some law just like this again. So it goes on and on and on.

flickds
flickds

Good to hear for now.  That "research" would have been a ridiculous waste of tax dollars, especially in light of the financial crisis our government has already allowed.  Aside from these isolated events that get publicized, there is much less criminal violence now than there was 20 years ago.  Research on how violent video games impact children will do nothing to prevent another mentally ill psycho from harming others the next time some psycho decides to do some unspeakable act. 

Verenti
Verenti

I wonder if the Senator encourages children to play inherently violent sports like football or hockey.

Matches_Malone
Matches_Malone

The problem today is plain and simple. Parents. Parents today want teachers to raise the kids for them. They don't want their kids looked down on so now in sports everyone wins. Parents also want their kids to belong so they buy everything, iPhones, Nikes, Call of Duty, etc. Maybe if the parents would do their actual job of raising the kids we wouldn't have these problems. 

mark_unix
mark_unix

violent parents with WAR TRAUMA (YES AMERICA) ARE THE CAUSE OF YOUR VIOLENCE. (NOTHING FUCKING ELSE!)

spats77
spats77

Can't wait till GTA 5 comes out. America is going to be fucked. LOL

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

Corporations do not have a responsibility at all with raising children or protecting them from their own games.

That is done with the ESRB and parents. Unfortunately parents don't typically do their job.If little Timmy wants something, he fucken gets it. Because he is such a perfect little boy who can do no wrong.

God i hate the parents of this generation.

RogueDiplodocus
RogueDiplodocus

"They have a responsibility to protect our children. If they do not, you can count on the Congress to take a more aggressive role."

Haven't by any chance been playing any of those pesky violence inducing video games have you Mr Rockefeller?

Roweb0t
Roweb0t

how about parents actually be parents and not buy the fucking game for these kids!

RenegadeGR
RenegadeGR

YO MOTHERF**KING CONGRESS! y dont u guys look at other countries to see if video game violence makes us f**king killers?! after that try improving the F**king gun control (like better screening of whether the person is mental or something) u political idiots!!!

DP1130
DP1130

This is the dumbest thing I have read in a long time. Hey congress, look around! Games have been played for years now. Guess what? wait for it.....by kids!  I do not see kids offing each other on a daily basis because of 20 hours of Halo. You don't need a bill or a study or anything that going to cost us tax payers more money, and waist researchers time. Lets worry about real killers like, heart disease, cancer, illnesses that have no cures. You peaces of &^it are typing these bills up  prolly while your watching the lastest Breaking bad episode, or WWE wrestling, or even Kill Bill flicks.

Knock off you F'N BS and live and let game!!!

jubdeidamasta
jubdeidamasta

Yet in other countries they play the same games and don't have these problems. Congress is so useless.

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

i live in the uk and watching all this from where i  am is unbelievable. In stead of saying we need tighter gun controls because at the moment any old lunatic can get one most of your politicians are like quick blame video games.

BillyColeman
BillyColeman

any bill will die dumb ass holes need to spend there time fixing real probs

Brokensword71
Brokensword71

can wait for MW4 and BO3  and bigger and better KILL streaks.  Hell Yea

Wedge55
Wedge55

The government has already commissioned studies on violent video games in the past.  What is the point of this?  The only one I can come up with is that they want to be seen as doing something, anything about the tragedy and this is the only path that doesn't piss off any lobby groups they care about.

kyle756
kyle756

Thank God he isn't running again, I have been so tired of my state electing the same damn senators year after year and the woman running against him was poised to kick his ass, Rockefeller made this bill in a last ditch attempt at swaying our state. Good freaking riddance.

spats77
spats77

Are Americans all dumb ? the only reason this bill is exists is to cover over the fact that the reason for all the shootings in America is because you have guns. The NRA and the people that makes billions of dollars from guns are the ones behind the bill.                              There were shootings in the 70s & 80s and what was to blame? rock music and violent films. WTF?

ban guns or live with it you American idiots

Overeduk8ed
Overeduk8ed

@Jager5 Happens all the time. He didn't actually *get* a decision. There's a sub-committee that determines what bills go to what committees for review and what goes to the floor for discussion. (Sub note: this is a very powerful committee since it controls the flow of congress). Whether on purpose or just because there wasn't time, Rockefeller's bill wasn't moved anywhere. This is why they call it "dead" instead of "defeated"- no one discussed it. In fact, a lot of bills that people hear about in the news and get all upset about follow a similar life cycle. They get introduced, they get put in line to be heard or reviewed, and then they never see the floor of Congress because other more important stuff comes up or there simply isn't time.

Overeduk8ed
Overeduk8ed

@flickds Not to mention they've already DONE the research. They just didn't like the outcome

Overeduk8ed
Overeduk8ed

@mark_unix What about non-violent parents with "war trauma"? Or violent parents without "war trauma"? What exactly is "war trauma"? I've been to war; it was traumatic. I'm not violent, though. Neither are my children. I'm not sure what your position is.

Overeduk8ed
Overeduk8ed

@WolfGrey "God i hate the parents of this generation" except the parents who are gamers themselves and take an active interest in what their children want to do, including the games they wish to play, and judge appropriately what their children are mature enough to handle (and why) and play WITH them to ensure both quality time together and actual supervision instead of either ignoring it or using the game as a pacifier.  

Fixed; no charge. 

NFiend
NFiend

@WolfGrey And that would matter if games actually affected anything. I've been brought up with violent films, violent games and even some violent music and guess what, I've never even been in a fight. People should focus on the actual issue. These people are fucked in the head and need mental help. Why not focus on that instead of a bunch of spoiled kids who get what they want. Or maybe on guns?

ACWH
ACWH

@WolfGrey Exactly. It's parenting that has gone downhill. Bring back the belt and kids will grow up more disciplined and respectful.

Dekker451a
Dekker451a

@Roweb0t No, that would require parents to actually be responsible for their children and what they choose to expose them to. Ridiculous!

Dekker451a
Dekker451a

@RenegadeGR The gun control is about as good as it's going to get, short of an outright ban. We don't need more gun control. We need more people control.

Trouvo
Trouvo

@DP1130 Maybe they should be targeting the effects on spelling instead of violence, or even the correlation of spelling to violence?....JK.....I do, however, agree with the context.

Dekker451a
Dekker451a

@spats77 What about Sweden? If it's just because we have guns then how do you explain the fact that they have far less gun-related crime than the US even though they have more guns? I mean per capita of course. I know the populations are different.

MGSFAN612
MGSFAN612

@spats77 Yeah because we know all those law abiding criminals are going to respect the gun ban and not find a way to get the anyway. 

Oh wait...

MGSFAN612
MGSFAN612

@spats77  Yeah because all those law-abiding criminals won't find a way to get guns anyway, 

Oh wait...

mark_unix
mark_unix

kids are more sensitive to pain, so if you talk allot about it your kids will be. 

i'm not saying you should ignore talking about it, but you should explain violence in it's context!

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

@NFiend @WolfGrey Mental health would be a wonderful start but we closed down all the institutions and just give them meds now and a ride home.

iempire68
iempire68

@ACWH @WolfGrey Agreed 100% but I think alot of parents are afraid because if Timmy tells a teacher, neighbor, or anyone else, you get arrested. Fear is good, keeps kids in line. Yes, there is a fine line of abuse but kids have no fear or respect anymore. My dad wacked my ass with a belt, and my mom used a wooden spoon if I got out of line. I'm no worse for it and I understood consequences. Kids have none today.

spats77
spats77

@Dekker451a @spats77 check your facts: 1st. America: for every 100 people there are 88 guns.  2nd. Serbia 58 guns per 100 people........10th .Sweden 31 gun per 100 people

spats77
spats77

@MGSFAN612 @spats77 the mass shootings in schools and most of the others were done by normal every day people that were pissed off, not criminals 

J4m3sR4n0r72
J4m3sR4n0r72

@WolfGrey @NFiend As soon as they seem to feel better, some decide to stop taking their meds and they are mentaly unstable again.

spats77
spats77

@Dekker451a @ACWH @RenegadeGR how many kill in the London riots = 1 by being pushed over and having a heart attack.  L.A riots = 53 dead 18  of whom were shot

DredWulf
DredWulf

@ACWH @Dekker451a @RenegadeGR We aren't the UK...this is fucking America..The United States of...we don't tell you how to run your country don't tell us how to run ours.  There's a reason we went to war with you to begin with.

spats77
spats77

@Dekker451a OK, AMERICA 90 out of 100 on Reuters and then YEMEN with 61 per 100....Anyway what my first point was, the American government blame anything except for whats the problem. In every country in the world you have people with all the same problems as in America. only difference its cheaper and easier to get guns.                              psycho evaluate everyone in America or take all the guns away and stop selling them    you tell me which is the simpler

Dekker451a
Dekker451a

I checked and I was actually thinking of Switzerland, not Sweden. My mistake there.

By the way, Swiss soldiers are *required* to keep all their military equipment at home, including weapons, yet they don't murder their families or neighbors.

My point still stands that there's more to this than any perceived lack of gun control. A gun doesn't make you homicidal just because you're touching it. You can't solve a complex problem with a simple solution.

Dekker451a
Dekker451a

@spats77 @Dekker451a Not only did you get those numbers from Wikipedia which is dubious already, you got it from a page the the factual accuracy of which is disputed.

Dekker451a
Dekker451a

@spats77 @Dekker451a @MGSFAN612 


Actually, plenty of these guys have a history of mental problems and violence before they ever go on a killing spree, including Adam Lanza. Just because their friends and family don't do anything about the warning signs doesn't mean there weren't any.

What do knives have to do with it?

Japan is a police state. I'd rather have mass shootings and liberty than so-called "peace" under an iron fist.

spats77
spats77

@Dekker451a @spats77 @MGSFAN612 who says they are insane? no one before it happens!....how come you never hear of mass stabbings? because a gun does a better job at killing more people quicker. The fact is, more guns there are, the more likely of shootings. .......japan play violent games, more than then anywhere else but you never hear of mass shooting there......oh yeah the civilians don't have guns within easy reach!

DredWulf
DredWulf

@jubdeidamasta @spats77 @MGSFAN612 the people with psyche issues don't buy guns...no one has read the news...He Killed his mother then got her arsenal...that's not buying a gun that's murder also he didn't even shoot his mom...he apparently stabbed her to death with a sharp object so should we ban scissors and knives too?


Dekker451a
Dekker451a

@spats77 @MGSFAN612 If by "normal every day people" you mean batshit insane, homicidal freaks, then yes, they were all perfectly "normal".

Dekker451a
Dekker451a

@jubdeidamasta @spats77 @MGSFAN612 No, actually, that's not the problem. Connecticut has among the strictest gun control laws in the US and one of those laws basically says that someone wityh a record of mental instablity isn't allowed to own guns. Besides, Adam Lanza didn't own the guns he used. He stole them from his mother.

jubdeidamasta
jubdeidamasta

@spats77 @MGSFAN612 The problem is people with psyche issues LEGALLY getting their hands on weapons like that. But that makes the issue more complicated. American politicians don't like complicated issues.